The Unique Provignage - from ungrafted Pre Phylloxera vines almost 200 years old! One of the mos

The Unique Provignage - from ungrafted Pre Phylloxera vines almost 200 years old! One of the most interesting wines in the world! Almost gone

Marionnet Provignage Header
Two unique wines from France's oldest vineyard!
One of the most interesting wines in the wordl!
Almost Gone! Try it whilst you can!
I am sitting in La Table du Gourmet in Riquewihr browsing their wine list for a second bottle to complete dinner. It is a fine list, with many reasonably priced bottles from Alsace and elsewhere. I am scanning through when my eyes are attracted by an interesting entry. Henry Marionnet Provignage 2013 from Pre-Phylloxera vines. My curiosity is piqued and I ask the sommelier for some more information. She informs me that the wine is made from Romorantin, a mutation of Pinot Noir, favoured (and planted) centuries ago by the French King Francois I (1494-1547). Henry Marionnet has a parcel with original ungrafted Pre Phylloxera Romorantin vines from which this wine is made.
I ordered a bottle. It was different. Complex and thought provoking. And with an amazing story to tell.
So began our relationship with this unique wine.
France's oldest vines
The Pre Phylloxera Romorantin vines of Henry Marionnet
"In 1998, an old vigneron came to Henry Marionnet, the producer many credit with having put the wines of Sologne on the map and on restaurant lists, and proposed that Marionnet take possession of 36 ares (0.9 acre) of pre-phylloxera Romorantin.
The man didn't know precisely when they were planted but thought it was sometime between 1800 and 1850. "At the time," recalled Marionnet, "I immediately wanted to have the vines examined by the world's greatest living ampelographer, Denis Boubals of INRA. After dissecting the vines, Boubals confirmed that they were indeed prephylloxeric, because they hadn't been grafted and were very old, but he couldn't give me a precise age because the vines were hollow. He thought, however, that they must have been planted around 1820."

These 36 ares (.36 hectares) are among the oldest vineyards in France, if not the oldest. And they make Marionnet's Provignage. The vineyard, which has clay-rich soils flecked with silex, is in Soings-en- Sologne, 8 miles (13km) south of the Château of Cheverny. It lies outside the bounds of Cour-Cheverny AOC but within those of Touraine AOC. But Provignage is sold as a Vin de France for the simple, dumbfounding reason that the Institut National de l'Origine et de la Qualité (INAO) does not allow pure Romorantin wines in the Touraine appellation. So much for François I." Jacqueline Friedrich, The World of Fine Wine
I contacted Henry Marionnet and his son Jean-Sebastien is now in charge. Numerous emails were exchanged and we were allocated a small amount of the 2014 and 2015 vintages of Provignage.
Chambord The domaine specializes in un-grafted vines. It is interesting to note that the Marionnets are involved in the project to replant vineyards around Francois I's Chateau de Chambord, the site of the original plantings 500 years ago.
For the next week you may purchase the remaining bottles at a 15% discount.
Henry Marionnet Provignage Romorantin 2014
Normal Price $213.95
Special Price $181.85
8 bottles available

Marionnet Provignage label NV
World of Fine Wines:
The 2014, tasted and drunk over two days in June 2016, was a fine, pale gold, a shimmering satin. I was first struck by the expression of freshness and harmony. There were notes of apple, fresh lemon juice, and lemon peel. Elegant and racy, it was a beautiful wine with a long, stony finish-a Romorantin that once again made me think of Chenin, of Vouvray and Montlouis.

Darren Harris: 
Pale, shimmering. Nose of lemon, apple, smoke and flint. The palate has a preserved lemon character, salty, tangy and caressing. Multi layered and complex. Tastes like a theoretical blend of Chardonnay and Chenin. Finishes fresh, with high, tangy acidity. 

Henry Marionnet Provignage Romorantin 2015
Normal Price $213.95
Special Price $181.85
19 bottles available

Marionnet Provignage label NV
Darren Harris: Nose of red fruits - cherry, cranberry - very reminiscent of Blanc de Noir Champagne. Fresh apples mingle with a citrus undertone and a rose petal note. Some soft spice, almost white pepper. The palate is minerally and refined with more citrus and a stony purity. Has the drive of Chardonnay with an intriguing extra element. A must try for anyone interested in serious French wine.

World of Fine Wines (on the 2005)
The 2005 Provignage, again a pale gold, mixing flavors of apples, citrus, and minerals, weighed in at 14.3% ABV and 6g/l acidity. (The 2014 was under 13% ABV.) But it was fresh, as well as plush and stylish, and would have been at home on a Michelin-starred table. My first experience with the wine was at the 2006 Salon des Vins de Loire, where I noted that it was a "must taste"-a crystalline wine that was full, complex, and elegant, mingling flavors of peach and ginger. Total pleasure.
To order the wines on line click here. You may also order by email to or by phone. 


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More Vieilles Vignes wines
The French prize old vines above almost everything. Whilst there is no official age to describe a wine as Vieilles Vignes, one can assume the vine age is at least 60 years and sometimes as much as 100.

This means low cropping levels and small berries producing wines of great intensity.

We have a nice selection available from Burgundy and beyond.

Is is sometimes said that a Vielles Vignes bottling is as good a the level above - ie a Villages Vieilles Vignes wine has the interest of a Premier Cru.

To view them all on our website click here.

Under the Liquor Reform Act 1998, it is an offence for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor. It is also an offence for a licensee to supply liquor or permit liquor to be supplied to a person under the age of 18 years.

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